Cause of fire at home of pet cemetery business unknown

Scenes from a house fire on Maloney Rd. and County Road 18 in South Stormont on Jan. 16, 2015. The home, which was also an afterlife pet care business called Nature's Way Pet Cemetery and crematorium, was destroyed by the flames. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

LUNENBURG — It took nearly five hours for South Stormont firefighters to put out a house fire near Lunenburg.

The two storey home at 16691 Maloney Road, near the intersection of County Road 18, caught fire just after noon and was quickly engulfed in flames.

Thick, black smoke billowed into the air while flames shot out from the north edge of the building before quickly spreading to the main area of the house.

The house is also a place of business – Nature’s Way Pet Crematorium and an adjoining pet cemetery – which provides afterlife arrangements for family pets.

The business has been in operation since 1995.

A nearby crematorium was spared any damage.

South Stormont Assistant Deputy Fire Chief Dave Pidgeon tells Cornwall Newswatch they were able to retrieve a safe and some items of value for the homeowner.

A woman, one of the homeowners, was speaking to the fire chief and was visibly shaken up, says Pidgeon.

The Canadian Red Cross and Victim Services of SDG&A were on the scene helping the family, who were said to be devastated by the loss.

Pidgeon says his men – about 30 from St. Andrews West, Newington and Long Sault stations – were able to fight the fire under very adverse conditions.

“They’re cold, their hungry. Most of the guys haven’t had lunch yet so, that’s what they’re doing right now. Breaking down the hose lines before they freeze. Preserve the equipment and then we’ll make sure the guys get fed and get the equipment back in service,” Pidgeon said as they were wrapping up around 5:30 p.m.

Pidgeon says, after talking with South Stormont Fire Chief Gilles Crepeau who was first in command at the scene earlier in the day, they believe the fire started somewhere in the northeast section of the house but the exact cause has not been determined.

In addition to the contents of the home, Pidgeon says a couple snowmobiles near the house sustained heat damage.

The homeowners did have insurance and an adjuster was on the scene Friday afternoon.

Paramedics were also on the scene earlier in the day but left as there were no reported injuries.

Click the images below to see more pictures from the scene of Friday’s fire.

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